President Trump plans to meet next week with leaders from U.S. and foreign carmakers on trade and changes to emission standards.
“When the White House wants to meet with us about our sector and policy, we welcome the opportunity,” Alliance of American Automobile Manufacturers spokeswoman Gloria Bergquist said Wednesday.
The time and agenda of the talks are still to be announced. But the car builders want to make their concerns about possible changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement known to the president.
They are also expected to talk about Trump administration plans to revise strict Obama-era emission standards for U.S. cars and light trucks.
Seventeen states and Washington, D.C., are suing the administration over the plans, accusing the Environmental Protection Agency of breaking the law.
“This is about health. This is about life and death,” California Governor Jerry Brown said Tuesday. “Pollutants coming out of tailpipes does permanent damage to children. The only way we’re going to overcome this is by reducing emissions.”
Brown accused Trump of wanting people to buy more gasoline and create more pollution.
The lawsuit argues the EPA acted arbitrarily and violated the Clean Air Act when it decided emission standards were too high.
In 2012, former president Barack Obama ordered emission standards to be raised to about 21 kilometers per liter of gasoline by 2025. The goal was to cut pollution and make cars and small trucks more energy efficient.
The EPA is seeking to freeze fuel efficiency requirements at 2020 levels until 2026.
EPA chief Scott Pruitt said last month that Obama’s decision was politically based and the emission standards Obama set were too high and did not “comport with reality.”
Pruitt said his EPA will set fresh standards so new cars that use less gas and are safer than older models will be affordable.
But environmental groups said the American public overwhelmingly supports the stricter standards.